The effectiveness of the airbike has been well documented over the last few years. Not only is it great for fat loss, it provides a gut check like no other piece of cardio equipment in the gym.
It doesn’t take many rounds before you can see who is focused on results and who is on a Sunday morning ride through the park. Most protocols use a “tabataesque” work to rest ratio, keeping rest periods much shorter than work periods. While this method is great for grinding out sets on the way to fat loss, it doesn’t do much in the way of developing (or maintaining) power.
Find Your Power
After a few rounds at a 2:1 work to rest ratio, even a test fueled, blood transfused, EPO loaded Lance Armstrong is going to lose peak power. Try the below method to get a more “powerful” session on the airbike:
- Get on the bike and pedal/push/pull as hard as you can for 8 seconds. Note the peak power output displayed on the monitor. This can be expressed in watts, RPM, METS, etc. If you have no display, then you must go by the roar of the fan and promptly go to the office of your gym’s manager and pose a formal complaint regarding the lack of quality equipment after your session.
- Whatever number you achieve in terms of power output is your goal for each set thereafter. Rest periods should be long, think 40-50 seconds. Continue performing sets until you are unable to hit 75-80% of your peak power and then end the session.
- Try to increase the number of rounds performed prior to hitting “ride through the park” status and your peak power value each session. Once you can keep peak power above 75-80% for 12 sets, decrease your rest periods by :5 seconds and start over.
Disclaimer: If you can fit your quads into a pair of skinny jeans after this protocol, you did something wrong, try again and pedal harder!
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